This make is a personal homage to my French friends in the wake of recent events. This dress has been on my to-do list for a long time. I just wasn’t sure of the combinations I wanted to use for the colour blocking and was tossing up between red, white and blue, OR orange, white and blue, OR turquoise, green and white. I was telling my other half about my ideas and said I didn’t necessarily want to do the classic colour mix of red, white and blue. But he said why not? And then I said, do you know what….? One idea led to another and I thought yes, let’s do a French theme and show some solidarity to our French friends at this time.
I didn’t have a pattern for this dress in exactly this cut, but there was an Issey Miyake pattern that I had been eyeing for a while with its colour blocking. Unfortunately it’s selling on Ebay and Etsy for around $120! I couldn’t justify that price considering how easy it was to make up the pattern myself using one I already had.
This is a tent shaped dress pattern that I have used on numerous occasions for other dresses in the past. So I traced it onto some tissue paper along with the colour blocked bits after consulting some Issey Miyake pattern pictures online. Thank goodness for Zara and co. wrapping purchases in tissue paper! It saved me sticking lots of smaller newspaper sheets together to trace the pattern onto and is thin enough to fold away into the same envelope with the original pattern!
In my good old trustworthy stash, I had some beautiful ponte knit in red from Spotlight, in blue from Clear It (Fashion Outlet store that also sells fabric upstairs, two doors down from The Fabric Store) and in white from Tessuti. What luck! I was considering underlining the dress, but then decided not to because the ponte knit is quite thick when sewing two layers together, so any further thickness would have been too much.
I had to add on 1.5cm for the seam of each colour blocked bit when cutting out the fabric and used a running stitch to mark the stitching line so that the connection was as exact as possible, without creating a bulge of any sort along the seams. Putting it together was simple and everything matched up really well. Once it was down to finishing off the dress, I was debating on how to finish off the hem, as the dress is VERY roomy and not at all figure flattering. There was the option of leaving it as a tent dress or being a bit different and making it into a “balloon” dress with the addition of a wide elastic on the bottom hem. I tried that out and found that it looked more interesting. I haven’t got a dress with this kind of hem, so I decided to leave it that way. The hem is hand stitched, just catching the thread on the inside, encasing the wide elastic so that it is not visible on the outside, as I didn’t want the stitching to be seen. After having had a look at the photos however, I think I will tighten the elastic a little, as I still find it a bit too loose.
To style the dress, I was deciding between red or navy pointed flats. Because the dress is a casual one, I didn’t think that heels go with it as well as flats. I have used the red ones for the photos, as I think they stand out better and because the red on the dress is at the top and the shoes are at the other end.
The dress is super comfortable to wear because of the soft fabric and its width. Maybe I will make another one in another colour combination with a different hem. But for now it’s au revoir and onto the next project….
Styling: Red flats: Michael Kors, Sunglasses: Zara, Ring: Lovisa